Art Room Hacks

– Let’s talk about art room
hacks using basic supplies. The first one that gives me
a lot of trouble is glue. So there’s lots of things
you can do to make glue work a little bit better
in your classroom. The first one is I always
struggle with glue caps kind of getting clogged, especially with my lower
kids that can’t open them and have trouble. So something that I’ve tried in the past is to actually take the
caps off when you first get new glue bottles and then open them and soak them in oil. Sometimes that tends to work, and you might have to
do it a couple times, but you could always try
and see if it helps for you and it makes the glue come
out a little bit slicker. You can also try using things
like special dotting bottles that only let out a dot of glue at a time, or you can just pour glue
into a little container and have students just paint on the glue or just sponge it, and that’s an easy way to not have to mess
with the bottles at all. Another thing you can
do with glue is actually to make colored glue. And we use colored glue
a lot for assessments that I do with my
students in kindergarten. So we made this cool
resource that’s practicing cutting and gluing something super simple, and you can have students
maybe use this as part of a goal that you use
as you’re teaching goals. But there is some simple shapes to cut out and then have them cut in from the edge or glue on the lines. So these are a few examples
of some colored glue that I’ve made before. And basically, when I
wanna see how students do, I’ll just have them glue on a line and I can see what their control is as far as how they can work
with their glue bottle. Now colored glue is actually
really easy to make, and it leads me to the
next thing that you can do with all of your tools in your classroom. This is my super simple
old rest in peace bin, and this is what happens to all the tools that are kind of out of
order in our classroom. It says they’re old and expired. They helped a lotta kids
and had a good life. So when a marker is emptied
or it’s not working anymore, I just have kids put them in here because we can use the caps for printing, we can use the caps for clay, and you can actually
make your colored glue with the things that
are inside the markers, the little sponges. So if I were to take this white glue and then these old expired markers, and I can use the caps for other things, I’m just gonna pull out
this sponge and then take about three or four of
similar colored marker sponges and just set them right inside the glue. Close it up once you have a few in there, and then let them sit for a day or two, and the ink from the sponge, even though the marker’s completely dry, is actually gonna soak into the glue and you’ll end up with
brightly colored glue that you can use for
projects or assessments. Another thing that’s super
simple to organize the tools that you have is actually
just to spray paint. So if you have Sharpies
or pencils or tools that you want to stay
right in the art room, just use spray paint to put a
little dash of color on them or some gold glitter or
something that will identify that it’s just for the art room. The other thing that I
like to use all the time is messy mats. I used to actually laminate my messy mats and then wipe them off
at the end of class, but that got a little bit
time-consuming and was messy because the messy mats
were then always wet. So a messy mat can be
kind of messy (laughing) without it being sticky. So we actually just use messy mats, and then wipe your
brush onto the messy mat or go off to the edge, and
the paint dries fast enough that you can use these
messy mats for other things. So I probably replace
these large pieces of paper maybe once every quarter, and then we have a fresh sheet of paper and we’ve got some
beautiful decorated paper that we use for displays, which you’ll see in a little bit, and we can use for
backgrounds or collaging. So the messy mats are a
really awesome art hack to use ’cause you’re kind of making
painted paper along the way. The last thing you can
use as a helpful hack for getting basic supplies
is to actually ask classroom teachers to add
it to their supply list. So as long as you get it
approved by your administration, I always asked for simple tools to be added to classroom
lists so that I don’t have to use all of my art
budget money to get things like pencils, paper clips, Ziploc bags, things that are really simple. And you can ask classroom
teachers to add that to their supply lists
and then collect them at the beginning of the year. Next, we’ll talk about art supply hacks for painting and drawing.

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